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Is 40 S&W the red-headed step child?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by TanklessPro, Jan 24, 2013.

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  1. greenlion

    greenlion Member

    Jul 26, 2009
    I think most of the civilian dislike of the .40S&W comes from the recoil characteristic. The pressure limit for the 40 was set the same as 9mm (35,000psi). I don't think the inventors were thinking about the recoil characteristics of a larger round loaded to the full pressure limit at the time. If you load the round the way it was first envisioned, a 180gr bullet traveling at 980fps it is a pussycat and does not have the snappy characteristic so many complain of.

    Imagine that the .45acp had the same 35,000psi pressure limit, and almost every bullet manufacturer tried to push it near its limit to be able to print a few extra feet per second on the side of their box. No one would shoot .45acp either. It would have recoil approaching a 44 magnum.

    Its a marketing problem though. If buyers see one box of 165gr .40S&W with 1000fps printed on the side, and another with 1150fps printed on the side, most of them will buy the box advertising higher velocity.... and then spend the rest of their range visit complaining about how snappy the .40S&W is...

    Oh well... Glad I handload... I love my .40.
  2. leeggen

    leeggen Member.

    Dec 16, 2012
    40S&W comp. to 45auto & 45acp

    as per Hdy. balistics chart:

    40 S&W 155 gr. XTP 1180f/s 479F# at muzzle

    45acp 230gr.HAP 900f/s 369 f# at muzzle

    45 auto 185 gr XTP 970f/s 333 F# at muzzle

    bad guy hit by any of the above = big hole and off his feet
  3. Buck13

    Buck13 Member

    May 15, 2012
    Puget Sound Convergence Zone
    People bounce .40 cases off me at the range plenty often. Even if it's the third most popular centerfire semi-auto, that's still pretty popular.

    I had to have a 10 mm auto, because I like not being able to find ammo at the best of times. :) There's your stepchild.
  4. Trad Archer

    Trad Archer Member

    Dec 5, 2010
    40 S&W fan here. Don't know why there is so much hate towards that caliber as well as the 327 Federal Magnum.
  5. Dentite

    Dentite Member

    Sep 6, 2009
    15 rounds? What magazine are you using? I have a BHP in .40 and the factory mags are 10 rounds. If you do have a 15 round mag how far does it stick out the bottom of the frame?
  6. willypete

    willypete Member

    Oct 4, 2008
    .40 can be more prone to bullet setback than 9x19 or .45ACP if it's using a redesigned 9mm frame. The feed ramps have to be set at a greater angle than for the same gun in 9mm, resulting in greater force on the bullet while entering the chamber.

    You will note I didn't say is; rather can.

    The easiest way to avoid bullet setback is to only chamber a round once.

    A more practical way to avoid the potential damaging effects of bullet setback is to inspect every round prior to re-chambering it.

    I used to own a Glock 27 and I reloaded cast lead bullets in the stock barrel. Never had a leading problem. I also downloaded the loads a bit. 175 gr truncated cone at 800 fps. Appropriate bullet hardness and velocity for loads used turns out to be a working combination. Not my favorite gun or cartridge, so I sold it.

    The current availability of .40S&W and .357 Sig is making me rethink my choice a little bit, but not much since I reload and cast my own bullets.
  7. Browning

    Browning Member

    Mar 21, 2007
    DFW - TX
    .40 S&W doesn't seem quite as popular as 9mm or .45 ACP and I've noticed that there's still quite a bit of ammo for it.

    In my head I started thinking about who I know that shoots a .40 S&W and I could only think of two guys and in each case they own one apiece. This is out of about 20 shooters. One is a Glock 23 bought be a relatively new shooter and the other is a Taurus 24/7 that my best friend got used. He got it for $175 and it works fine.

    Everyone else I know shoots 9mm, .45 ACP, .357 Mag, .38 Special or even .44 Mag. Most just go to 9mm because of ammo costs out of default and if they're worried about 'stopping power' they go to the .45 ACP.

    .40 S&W was a compromise solution during the 80's before the crop of modern HP's. It was a good solution at the time, but I don't think it occupies an ultra-important niche. Just my opinion though.

    I was actually thinking of getting one just because I notice ammo is always available for it.
  8. Aaron1100us

    Aaron1100us Member

    Oct 18, 2012
    I love the .40. I'm more accurate with that than 357 SIG. Maybe because I've been shooting .40 for the past 13 years. .40 is no where to be found anywhere around here, even all three walmarts are out.

    Sent from my PB99400 using Tapatalk 2
  9. Fishslayer

    Fishslayer Member

    Jan 1, 2010
    People's Republik
    During the last Great Ammo Drought .45 was hard to come by. I actually started reloading in February of '09. Glad I did.

    There are plenty of people with the $$$ to snap up every box of .45ACP they come across and right now they are doing it.

    I decided not to mess around with the 10mm Kurz for a few reasons.
    It's a very unforgiving round. As has been mentioned, most KB we hear about involve the 10mm Kurz with a good many mentions of Titegroup and Glocks.

    It has a rep as having a snappy, unpleasant recoil. I've watched people shooting it. Looks nasty.

    We are limited to 10 rounds in Kalifornistan.

    I just prefer the .45. ;)

    Was in my lacal Walmart a couple days ago. Only pistol ammo (besides $1/rd defensive stuff) on the shelf was .40.
  10. Voyager

    Voyager member

    Feb 6, 2013
    Duluth MN
    About as poor a choice as one could arrive at, the BHP is a 9mm, its never translated well to the .40 S&W. Too much for the frame, much as the Beretta 96, they feel good, but they wear out well ahead of the competition.

    Beautiful pistols, but not in the .40 caliber variants.
  11. ku4hx

    ku4hx Member

    Nov 8, 2009
    (Emphasis mine)

    Not necessarily so. The "one shot stop" is pretty much a gun rag fantasy. There are stories galore of good and bad guys taking multiple hits and fighting on. One well know case is the 1986 FBI Miami shootout.

    If what you say were the rule, people would have little interest in semi auto pistols, high capacity magazines and training drills that foster faster followup shots.
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